Liquid Ladybug™ and the Two Spotted Spider Mite Life Cycle
Spider mite under electron microscope
Liquid Ladybug™ employs very effective aromatic organic plant oils to safely and rapidly kill spider mites. It’s safe enough to use often, bare handed, without a mask and does not stain or damage surfaces. It is safe for the environment, people, pets and plants and can be used from germination to harvest without affecting taste or quality of the crop. It doesn’t use any dangerous ingredients because strength is not the clever way to stop this pest. Keeping plants and the grower safe has to be the paramount goal of any tool to the gardener. Spider mites are very small and vulnerable insects protected only by the sheer number of eggs it lays. But its vulnerability is also its weakness, as can be seen in the chart below.
The entire colony is reliant on sufficient egg laying to survive. When all the adults and nymphs are eliminated there is a window of opportunity to eliminate the entire colony in successive removals of adolescent mites.
At 55F degrees it takes 40 days from hatched to adult, but at 85F degrees it takes only 5 days.
Time to re-apply Liquid Ladybug™:
For 7 to 40 days no eggs are being laid, only old eggs are hatching.
The Mite Colony
When an adult Spider mite is allowed to survive to egg laying stage, the amount of eggs laid will assure the survival of the infestation. These mites are very small but very driven to lay eggs.
Here adults, nymphs and eggs are evident on this leaf surface.
The Egg Phase
In a month a single egg laying adult can lay enough eggs, hatching enough new mites to produce 1,000,000 new eggs. The eggs are very tough. It is far safer to not use something so strong it can kill mite eggs and risk damaging your crop. Freshly hatched mite nymphs are easy targets for Liquid Ladybug and present no risk to the plant or the gardener! Simple re application timed to kill hatching mite eggs removes the remaining possible egg laying mites.
The male and female eggs are plentiful and have a nearly 100% hatch rate. They can be found under leaves along veins, on stems and branch junction. The mites leave a trail of eggs as they eat and move about the plant.
Liquid Ladybug™ is designed to remove the egg laying adult mites and developing nymphs first to stop all egg laying in the colony.
This proven strategy allows eggs to hatch in batches for timed re applications to kill the vulnerable living mite nymphs.
Mite Nymph phase
The eggs hatch at different rates depending on temperature mostly. The greater the temperature the less time it takes eggs to hatch into mite nymphs.
Once the nymph hatches out of the egg, the nymph immediately starts feeding by damaging cells to grow and attain egg laying status.
The nymphs are very susceptible to Liquid Ladybug™ at hatching. The aromatic oils and esters in Liquid Ladybug rapidly coat and are absorbed to suffocate the mite and dissolve its respiratory and digestive track.
Adult Egg-Laying Mite
Once again, reaching the adult egg-laying phase is either delayed or accelerated by temperature or stopped in its tracks by Liquid Ladybug.
The adult only spends its time eating plant fluids, mating and laying eggs.
Adults are also very susceptible to the oils and esters of Liquid ladybug. Once coated the mite has no ability to remove the oil which is rapidly absorbed into the respiratory tract and is ingested to dissolve the digestive organs while stopping all digestive chemistry, effectively stopping the mite in its tracks.
Any mites seen after a Liquid Ladybug™ treatment are either newly hatched nymphs or adults mites that escaped the application treatment.
Therefore, the way to eliminate this pest is to first eliminate all the hatched mites at all phases of development to remove all the egg layers.
This provides a range of time, dependent on temperature, to eradicate all the hatching nymphs from the initial eggs left before they can become egg laying adults. This then causes the reverse mathematical progression in the number of eggs over time and increases the likelihood that you will be successful in your control of this pest.
And remember, it will always be control. These pests come indoors on clothing, shoes, wind, dirt, new plants, anything and everything. At 1/10 mm in size and with their egg laying capacity they can establish a new colony quickly.
Ultimately, the correct strategy for dealing with this pest is to be able to use a very safe agent; one that can be used often with no harm to plant or animal, but decisively kills mites on contact. Only by killing the egg layers will you control this pest.